One of the many new features in iOS 8 is a new and decidedly more customisable Notification Center. For the first time, developers can now have extensions in Notification Center to allow you to access apps or to provide you more personalised information with just a swipe down on your Home screen. Notification Center widgets in iOS 8 are application dependent so not every app will have them but some big name apps have already released updates to their apps to take advantage of it: Dropbox, Evernote, Wall Street Journal, Yahoo News Digest and Weather, American Airlines, British Airways and many more. Not every app will take advantage of it of course but check to see if your favourite app is going to have Notification Center Widgets. You can find full list of apps that have been updated in the App Store on your iPhone or iPad. Look under Featured>Extensions.
How To Archive
One of the new features in iOS 8 is the ability to for developers to add share extensions to their apps that can be used in other apps. As the name suggests, share extensions in iOS 8 allow you to share a picture, document or other file with another app that is installed on your iPhone or iPad. You have seen this already in iOS 7 and iOS 8 with the ability to share with Twitter, Facebook and other apps that you have installed. Now in iOS 8 you can control which apps you want to share content with to make it a more personalised and productive experience.
In order for you to be able to add share extensions in iOS 8 the app you want to share with must have the ability to take advantage of this feature. Not all apps do but you will be able to quickly determine if it does when you go through this How To. While my screen captures are for iPhone, this functionality works the same on your iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 8
QuickType is one of the many new features in iOS 8. As I discussed in our iOS 8 Review, QuickType appears above the keyboard on your iPhone or iPad and gives you word suggestions or spelling suggestions based on the context of what you are writing. The idea is to improve your speed as you type messages or mails on your iPhone or iPad. But for some this is a bit distracting and is more a a nuisance than a help. Fortunately there is a quick way to hide QuickType in iOS 8 and you don’t even have to go into settings.
First, open up messages or mail as you would normally and begin to compose an message. QuickType will show up as you would
expect just above the keyboard and will give you the normal word suggestions. If you want to hid QuickType just tap-and-swipe down to minimise the QuickType bar. Now you will see a minimised line above the keyboard (see my screenshot to the right). Now you won’t have the QuickType bar in the way of your message and it won’t be a distraction to you.
The bar will stay minimised until you open it up again. This is done by a tap-and-swipe up of the holder in the minimised bar (the white bar in the centre of the bar). Doing this will show the QuickType bar once again.
One of the great new features of iOS 8 is continuity and part of that is handoff. Handoff allows you to start working on a file, message or email from one device and finish it on another. Let’s say you are walking to the train station and you start an email on your iPhone. When you get on the train and you open up your iPad, you can swipe up on the Lock Screen to move that email to your iPad for a more comfortable typing experience.
In this How To I will show you how to do email handoff in iOS 8. Just remember that like all of the Continuity features, it only works between iOS 8 devices and OS X Yosemite on your Mac when it is available later this year.
The release of iOS 8 is fast approaching this week. On Wednesday the 17th of September it will be made available by Apple to install on your existing iPhone and iPad. To help make the upgrade go smoothly, we’ve put together this iOS 8 Install Guide. The guide is designed to give you tips and tricks from our years of experiencing in upgrading iOS versions to assure it goes as quickly and as pain-free as possible.
To remind everyone, iOS 8 will be available for the following existing iOS devices. Remember that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will come already loaded with iOS 8.
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 5s
- iPhone 5c
- iPad 2
- iPad 3rd Generation
- iPad 4th Generation
- iPad Air
- iPad Mini
- iPad Mini with Retina Display
- iPod Touch 5th Generation
Before I start the iOS 8 Install Guide a word of patience. Generally an iOS upgrade is made available on launch day at 10:00 PST. That’s 13:00 EST and 18:00 BST. When the release happens there will quite literally be millions of people trying to upgrade at the same time. It could take you several tries and several hours to actually get the upgrade onto your device. Be patient. You’ve lived this long without it, a few more hours won’t hurt. For Tricia, she isn’t even going to try to attempt to install iOS 8 on her existing iPhone 5, iPad Mini and iPad 3rd Generation until Wednesday night even though she is in California. For me here in London, I probably won’t be installing it until Thursday morning my time, around midnight Wednesday in California. If you can wait, do it. It will be a lot less frustrating.
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage applications out for both PC and Mac. Tricia is a big fan as we discussed in our How We Make AlliOSNews Work post and I use it as well (although I tend to lean more towards OneDrive). There is one aspect of Dropbox that is brilliant and that is the ability to move the Dropbox folder from a location other than your hard disk. That means I can save those precious SSD gigabytes for other things (F1 2013 Classic) and have my important, cloud synced files on external drive.
Moving your Dropbox folder is actually very easy to do if you know where to look and takes just a few clicks to make happen. Now I should warn you that Dropbox does not recommend you move your Dropbox folder from a location other than the same disk as your Operating System. Their point is if the folder ever became unaccessible, Dropbox wouldn’t work properly. So this How To is a bit at your own risk. My answer to this was a non-moving media. Remember that Nifty MiniDrive Pro review from a few weeks ago? Yep, that’s exactly what I’m using it for on my MacBook Pro. The 64GB MicroSD card that is in my Nifty drive is my Dropbox drive effectively. And because this is never unplugged from my Mac’s SD slot and on flash media, it should never go away.
Notification Center in OS X, like its counterpart in iOS, is a powerful tool for keeping you up-to-date with the headlines of your day. Whether it be your next calendar appointment or the latest update from a friend on Facebook, you can find it all in one place with a two-finger swipe of your Touchpad on your Mac. And, just like in iOS, Notification Center in OS X can be configured to give you the information you want most at the top rather than having to scroll up and down to get it. It’s quick and easy to do and I’ll show you how to configure Notification Center to your liking.
One of the great features of iOS is the ability to quickly and easily close apps to save battery power and processing power. Although the platform is good at multitasking, closing down apps does have its benefits. It was introduced in iOS 6 and in iOS 7 it was improved with a more gestures-based way of closing apps simply by swiping up on your screen after you double-tap the Home button. But did you know you can close multiple apps on iOS 7 at once?
Neither did I until I stumbled upon it last week. It was, as they say, one of those “Where have you been all my life” moments!
There has been a lot of talk since WWDC 2014 about Dark Mode in OS X Yosemite. Dark Mode, for those who are not sure, allows you to turn the translucent menus, toolbars and window headers dark instead of the standard translucent look that is dominating the new look of OS X Yosemite. Why would you want to do this? If you are doing photo or video editing, the translucent mode could be a distraction. Think of it as turning a bit of the eye candy off in OS X Yosemite.
The mode was not available until Preview 3 which was only open to developers. Now that Preview 4 is out and it is the public beta build of OS X Yosemite, you can now enable this feature to try it out for yourself.
This week Apple in Australia, Japan and The United States gave iTunes account holders the ability to add iTunes Gift Cards to their Passbook on their iPhone. It saves you from having to go to a store and purchase them and scan them in to iTunes in order to use them for app, books, movies and music purchases. Even better, you can go to your local Apple store and add money to your iTunes card in Passbook at any time. Adding an iTunes Gift Card to Passbook is not entirely intuitive so here is a step-by-step how to guide on how to get it added on your iPhone.